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ATP WEEKLY TURTLE BULLETIN

No. 177, 10th April 2015

1. Quang Binh province, Vietnam : Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park released eight wild animals back to the forest
SOURCE: vietnamplus.vn – DATE: 16th March 2015
On the 16th of March 2015, the management board of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Quang Binhprovince, Vietnam released eight rare wild animals to the forest. These included four Asian Palm Civets (Paradoxurus hermaphrodites), one Stump-tailed Macaque (Macaca arctoides), two Keeled Box Turtle (Cuora mouhotii), and one Assam Macaque (Macaca assamensis).
Mr Le Thanh Tinh, the director of the park management board, said that awareness activities conducted by the national park encouraged people to transfer the animals for release. After arriving at the park the animals underwent health inspections to ensure they were in good health prior to their release.

Link to the web article online (Vietnamese)

tiger trade in Laos
©
Big Cat Rescue

 

 

2. United Nations arm CITES recommends trade boycott of Laos over wildlife trafficking
SOURCE: animals24-7.org  – DATE: 22nd March 2015

The Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), a treaty organization formed by the United Nations, on the 19th of March, 2015 issued a rare recommendation that all 170 CITES member nations should “suspend commercial trade in specimens of CITES-listed species with the Lao People’s Democratic Republic until further notice.”
The recommendation came nine months after the CITES Standing Committee in July 2014 directed Laos and ten other nations to “develop a national ivory action plan and submit it to the Secretariat by on the 31st of October, 2014.” Laos did not comply. The CITES Standing Committee on the 13th of January and on the 12th of February, 2015 sent reminder letters to the Laotian government, requesting that a national ivory action plan be submitted within 30 days. The suspension of trade was recommended when Laos continued to balk at compliance.

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

3. In Vietnam, Rampant Wildlife Smuggling Prompts Little Concern
SOURCE: nytimes.com - DATE: 30th March 2015

Illegal wildlife is one of the world’s largest contraband trades, netting an estimated $19 billion a year, not including illegal fisheries and timber. While all Southeast Asian countries and many others outside of the region are involved, Vietnam plays a paramount role. The country is a major thoroughfare for wildlife goods bound for China, which arrive overland from Cambodia, Thailand and Laos; by ship from Malaysia and Indonesia; or by air from Africa.
“After China, Vietnam is the next port of call in terms of where to look to figure out what’s going on with wildlife trade,” said Dan Challender, a co-chairman of the pangolin specialist group at the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Vietnam is also a significant consumer of wildlife, especially those yielding the ingredients for traditional medicine, such as rhino horn, which is used to treat everything from cancer to hangovers. The exotic meats of rare animals are seen as luxuries by a rising middle class eager to advertise its prosperity.
ATP NOTE: the article by Rachel Nuwer pictures a Malayan Snail Eating Turtle (Malayemys subtrijuga) and Malayan Box Turtle (Cuora amboinensis) seen in local trade around U Minh Ha Nature Reserve, Ca Mau Province, Vietnam.

Link to this web article online (English)

wildlife trade in Vietnam

© R. Nuwer

4. Vietnam: Rumor about the death of Hoan Kiem turtle – prosecution possible.
SOURCE: nguoiduatin.vn – DATE: 1st April 2015

On the 28th of March 2015, on a website forum on food, culture and tourism there was an article titled: "Mourning for the sudden death of Hoan Kiem turtle in the early morning." This shocking title has caused an uproar and confusion for many people in Vietnam where the animal is considered sacred. In fact the article did not mention any information or evidence on the death of the current-living Hoan Kiem. The site has been accused of publishing a shocking, but untrue title or information to attract viewers. On the 30th of March 2015, the article was removed.
Article 226 of the Criminal Code stipulates that the crime of or unauthorised use of computer information networks, telecommunication networks, the Internet shall be fined from 10 million ($465) to 200 million dong ($9306), non-custodial reform to 3 years or a prison term of 6 months to 3 years. "In my opinion, the Inspectorate of Information & Communications Department needs to verify the websites that give untrue information. If found to have signs of violating the law, publishing untrue articles, and bewildering the public, these websites shall be sanctioned or suspended operation. Further investigation should be carried out by functional agencies ", A Lawyer, Mr Nguyen Hoang Tien, said.
ATP NOTE: in a country where the turtle in Hoan Kiem Lake is considered sacred and almost God like, a joke about its death is not taken lightly. The animal in Hoan Kiem represents one of only four Swinhoe’s Softshell Turtles (Rafetus swinhoei) known in existence globally. Although a priority for conservation creating national support for protection of the species aside for the lone animal in Hanoi’s downtown lake has proved challenging but the ATP continues to work to increase conservation efforts for the species in general.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

 

Hoan Kiem turtle
©
nguoiduatin.vn

phage theraphy
©
University of Queensland

5. Australia: Turtle therapy might help develop alternative to antibiotic treatments for humans, Queensland researchers say
SOURCE: abc.net.au – DATE: 9th April 2015

The medical treatment known as phage therapy, a relatively little-known alternative to antibiotics that uses highly specific viruses to target bad bacteria and destroy them, has proven successful in treating sick turtles where antibiotics failed. The results of the therapy on the turtles were so positive that it was hoped phage would help overcome the problem of antibiotic resistant bacteria in humans as well.

Link to this web article online (English)

 

6. Shocking images show devastating impact of sea pollution after turtle dies from ingesting rubbish
SOURCE: mirror.co.uk – DATE: 9th April 2015

Marine rescuer Chloe Garland, 30, posted on Facebook the plight of the young female Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas), which was "literally filled to the throat with food and trash". These shocking pictures highlight the devastating impact of sea pollution after a turtle died from ingesting too much plastic.
Chloe, who works as a volunteer at the marine rescue centre in Brazil where the turtle was brought in, said it was unable to eat and had become so malnourished that her chest bone was protruding through the skin. An autopsy showed that her digestive system was full of rubbish, including plastic and fishing wires, from her oesophagus right through to her intestines. Despite the best efforts of the staff and volunteers at the centre, they were unable to help the turtle, and had to watch it die a slow and painful death.

Link to this web article online (English)

devastating impact of sea pollution
© C. Garland


 

 

 
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